Can I get fired from my job for a off duty injury?
I’ve been with this company, a security company, only since the beginning of September. I have no sick time and have already been off work for two weeks by doctors request.
I feel I’m definitely not ready to go back to work as those two weeks are ending soon.
I don’t believe I qualify for FMLA due to not being with the company very long.
Can they fire me for this medical issue that we are trying to fix?
2 attorney answers
The good news is that the FMLA is not the only statute that protects you when you have a disabling condition, whether or not it is workplace related. As long as your employer has at least 5 employees, your employer has a duty to reasonably accommodate your need for leave as long as your employer is made of aware of your need and as long as the leave does not create an undue hardship on the employer. This duty exists even if you have been only working a short time with the company.
Be sure to provide the employer with a doctor's note indicating the need for the additional leave time. The note should not be open ended. It should define how much more time the leave will predictably be. If you are terminated after providing that note, it would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
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It sounds like you may have been fired because you were absent from work without leave and haven't yet worked for the company long enough to be eligible for certain job protections relating to protected medical leave under state and federal law. You should consult with a knowledgeable and experienced employment attorney about all the facts and details of your situation to better understand your legal rights and options.
I answer questions on Avvo to try to help get you pointed in the right direction. But, I am not your attorney. Beware, my answers here are general, limited, incomplete, and can never be as complete, thorough, or accurate as one I would give to a client after hearing all of the facts and details of my client's situation and applying the correct law. Also, I am admitted to practice law only in California and all of my answers are intended exclusively for the Golden State.